Sidelines Guidelines: 5 apps to download right now


Photo courtesy of Flickr

Story by Aaliyah Johnson / Contributing Writer

Nowadays, cell phones are practically a part of us. Whether it’s social media calling us in or the group text that never seems to die, they are a must-have accessory, so much so that if ever we forget them in the midst of rushing out the door we hurriedly turn right back around. Sure, it’s a valid argument that they’re taking us over, but with these phones come great opportunities, and those opportunities come in the form of apps.

I know what you’re thinking: Your phone is already eaten up with apps, and you couldn’t possibly consider adding another. After reading this guide, though, you’ll realize just how necessary it is for you to squeeze these five on the home screen.

Mint

Even if you only require little support, this app is the go-to. It assists you in your budgeting, bill-paying and it even provides access to a rough estimate of your credit score. All you do is link any account — bank account(s), credit cards, auto loans, rent — and you will receive notifications on bills that are due, as well as occasional notices pertaining to your account. The app will track the cash flow through whichever account you provide, and you can self-set a budget based on your income. It also give you a breakdown of your spending in categories, such as auto and transport, home and shopping.

Square Cash

Don’t you just hate when you loan someone $10 but never get it back? Well, with this cash app excuses for delayed payback completely vanish. All you have to do is create a username, link a debit or credit card and send cash straight from your bank account. The best part is you won’t be charged with any fees.

If you’re on the receiving end, you don’t have to keep the money on the app; in fact, you can easily transfer the funds to your bank account. Square Cash offers you a multitude of functional choices, too. Not only can you wait 2-3 business days for funds to be deposited for free, but you can also opt to pay a 1 percent fee for immediate results. If you’re used to using Bitcoin, you can do that too. The Bitcoin will be linked to your cash app and funds will either be deposited or withdrawn from your Square Cash account. If the whole online payment scenario freaks you out, Square Cash offers physical cards, which can be ordered from the app for free, that will link to the cash available your app’s account. If you’ve never used bitcoin and are interested in trying it out, then you can buy bitcoin here. If you are also interested in bitcoin price predictions and seeing how far its success will reach, there are lots of articles available online where you can build up your knowledge.

Amazon Alexa

Okay, maybe this app is only for Amazon Alexa users, but if you don’t have one, you should reconsider because it’s cheap and fairly easy to use. The app guides you through the Alexa set up process, and afterward you can use the Alexa app in your everyday life. For example, it could inform you of traffic updates while you’re commuting to work or even keep you up-to-date on local and national news. If you’re notorious for your forgetful habits, look into smart home products, such as a smart wall plug, and through the app you can order Alexa to turn off the lights in your house, even when you’re miles away. This Alexa app is truly the future of technology.

Ebates

If you’ve never heard of this app, your life will soon be forever changed. Ebates literally pays you to shop from their app. Hear me out: When you go onto their website or app and purchase that outfit you’ve been eyeing, a portion of what you paid will come back to you in the mail. How it works is Ebates has a catalog of over 2,000 retailers, and all you have to do is sign up to their website, depart on your online shopping spree and get paid. Checks are always sent out on the 15th every three months, and depending on how much you’ve spent in that timeframe will determine how much you’ll earn. There is also a way to link a debit or credit card to the app and still get cash back.

MTSU Mobile App

If you still haven’t downloaded the MTSU mobile app, then stop what you’re doing and get to the app store. As a student of MTSU, this app is basically essential. All you do is enter your student username and password and it provides you access to your class schedule, bus routes, grades and more. The in-app map serves to be a lifesaver as well, because it leads you to the campus building you just can’t seem to find. It’s fast, easy and functional, so why not download it?

With these five apps, life could be much more simple. Whether its budgeting you need assistance with or you just really love to shop — and be paid in return — this guide covers all its bases. Plus, each app mentioned above is free and fairly user-friendly. Download them today on either the Apple App Store or Google Play.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life.

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